tv [untitled] May 19, 2011 2:00pm-2:30pm PDT
hearing and second notice for variance hearing were issued. this is what this building currently looks like at the fro front. a side photograph of the subject property. and another photograph of the side of some of the work that has already been performed. the portions that are being modified are the front portion here after review with the residential design team to to remove the boxiness of the developme
development, cutting back portions along the side and pulling back these portions that were built over the property line. this is a 3-d reynol rendering t the design team and project sponsor have worked out to improve the current condition. as you can see, the portion built over the garage that extended over the property line is being pulled back to be in compliance with the planning code and required front setback. and a shed roof that matches the adjacent shed is being installed. the two story over the garage addition is being modified to add a bay window and pitched roof. it also includes dormers on both
sides. along the side there is a modification of pulling back the building at the side to comply with the side yard requirement, which is four feet. also this portion at the rear is being modified to be pulled back off the property line and revert to its original configuration. as i stated one of the requests was already withdrawn. however, i need to add that i
did receive, after you received your packets, a letter in opposition of the neighbor across the street. so in total you received three letters in support and one in opposition. the d.r. requester has several issues. first, the building is not combat believe with the surrounding buildings. second, light and air to adjacent properties is not provided with adequate set back. the building permit application plans are incomplete and four the project warrants extensive due process. to mitigate the issues the d.r. requester suggested to eliminate third story addition over the garage, improve the seconds story addition by increasing ceiling height and eliminating the setback requirement or provide a 6 1/2-foot setback over the garage articulate the third story and lower the third story addition by four feet. they also suggest eliminating the window looking directly into their master bedroom and any construction into the east side
setback and eliminate any encoach. s on the neighboring property to the east. as stated this has been reviewed several times by the residential design team and there was strong consensus the proposed alterations have been found to be compatible with the scale and development of the surrounding neighborhood specifically the scale with the adjacent building to the west with that front addition over the garage, that element specifically. the surrounding neighborhood is mixed in style. there is no consistency per se in lot width or depth. building architectural style, height, width, so forth. so it is very difficult to do a real good comparable analysis against anything because of that fact. the proposed modifications wouldn't significantly impact light and air to the parcel to the west.
as shown here the proposal, all the proposed additions are pushed to the east farthest away from the d.r. applicant's property to the west. this addition over the garage actually has a 31-foot separation from the main building wall of the adjacent subject property because of that front set baback. the horizon addition to the east will provide required side yard setback of four feet and there is no building on the adjacent parcel to the east. the permit applications are not incomplete as far as we can tell. they provide accurate dimensions and provided -- it has gone
through many, many iterations and include the 1998 permit which we requested it to be added to the application to demonstrate the inaccuracy. in 1998 that was issued inappropriately because the property lines were not accurate and so there is some question about the accuracy of that permit from 1998. finally, the project has received a significant amount of scrutiny from the department of building inspection. i worked directly with senior building inspector patrick oreardon the last couple of years. the residential design team, neighbors, we have met several times with them at the planning department and now it is before you, commissioners.
as to the required -- excuse me -- the rear yard variance, this is the site plan of the subject property. this is the front building garage. this is the portion that was built and this portion shaded yellow is the portion that requires the rear yard variance. it encroaches approximately eight feet into the required rear yard. and it probably doesn't show up well but the property line is very awkward in that the west property line is perpendicular to the front property line but along the east it moves and then it kind of tapers in along the side at various locations until its narrowest point at the rear property line. because of that, the rear
property line at this portion of the lot is not the rear-most property line of the subject property but is actually here. so, that 25% is taken from, measured from this portion of the rear property line. i just wanted to reiterate what changes are being made at this point to what is existing there. clearly what is existing there was not authorized in the 1998 benefit. they were built without benefit of the permit but the owners have submitted this permit to correct those violations. at the front of the first floor the portion built over the garage is being pulled back to comply with the front setback requirement. that is the portion where the shed roof is being constructed.
at the second level, at the front built over the garage, the building is being pulled back to comply with the front setback requirement. at the side, this open verran da or balance ko bash balance conn is being eliminate and this balcony at the rear is being eliminated. at this portion of the rear building wall where the third notice of violation talked about the width of the rear building wall, this extends over the property line into the adjacent neighbors. that is being pulled back on to the subject property and will comply with the 1998 plan of a 17-foot width for the rear building wall at that location. finally, on the third level the same thing. at the front and this will indicate that portion at the rear that is being pulled back.
it has been a long process, commissioners. but i think we have it to a point where it not only complies with the building code with the exception of the rear yard variance but complies with the residential design guidelines as demonstrated by the review of the residential design team. i would like to recommend approval as currently proposed and with that i will conclude my presentation and i will answer any questions. president olague: thank you. d.r. requester. >> i have been on this case since sunday night. two huge issues here. one is that this is the planning department's equivalent of the crash on wall street, too big to
fail. if you do things audaciously you are immunized and people throw money at you. here they throw approvals at you. you have a situation where the project was massively altered illegally by an engineer who happens to own the project, proper property, and wrote and approved his own plan. what you got from the department and it caused all kinds of grief at d.v.i. just to find out what was going on because it looks like they had approved plans but they were not. so, there was all kinds of irregularities going on. then they came from project sponsor, not from anyone in the neighborhood. the second thing is, at the ends of the process, when it comes to the planning department, the planning department adopts a
mentality that the project sponsor is the client, not the public. and they do extraordinarily lopsided work for them to the extent my client wasn't told of the hearing date for two months after it was set and he was out of town on business. you have basically gotten a last-minute letter from me because he had no opportunity to prepare anything because project sponsor knew when the hearing was two months ago because it was negotiated with him. but when staff was asked straight up when is the hearing date staff said we don't know. that is a very troubling set of circumstances. so, you do not have a really -- you don't have any briefing on the substantive issues for which i apologize. i submitted a letter by e-mail which included a chronology of
this case and problems on this case. i want to go back to substantive issues. the sinkhole -- i remember the sinkhole. i was living in the city. it was a fairly dramatic and terrible thing to happen. but the rebuilding was not done in conformity with the law. we have a process that says if you are going to expand your building you have to propose your expansion and send a notice out to the public and get response from the public before it is constructed. here we have an expansion that happened and became a hide and seek issue of expansion and staff is saying that is ok, we are going to look at it as though it was the facts on the ground. what didn't ever go out to anybody in the neighborhood as a set of plans that said this is what is legal. they sent a section 311 notice and in the pre-application meeting the same set of plans,
which is the existing conditions and how the department thinks they want to change it. no one ever had a measuring stick of here is what is legally allowed there. you have those plans in your packet. nobody has seen them except myself mr. grevey and anyone else obsessive enough to go on line and read they want the neighbors are very confused about this. they thought they had to accept what was presented to them because it was the only alternative because they are stuck with a fairly obnoxious building. this is an extremely visible site. this is a scenic street because it is where you come out of the presidio and hit sea cliff. so you have no summary history of the d.b.i. an hour before this hearing started i got the assessment appeals transcript because it
was just transcribed because i asked for it. no one had transcribed the abatement hearing on this until today this. is a hearing dated september 16, 2009. i would like to have submitted that to you so that you can hear in mr. sweeney's words the ab e abusive practices that happened on this. and you don't have any of that. the staff didn't give you any of that. the case cries out for not taking a decision today, letting mr. grevey submit something in writing just like mr. junious did because he had the leisure to prepare for it. this is a landmark case, does section 311 mean anything. president olague: thank you. is there any comment in support of the d.r. requester?
>> i am rodney grevey the west neighbor to the subject property and d.r. applicant. a couple of comments with respect to the substantive issues in addition to the procedural issues you just heard about. we have heard that the mass and scale are consistent with the neighborhood. but the neighborhood does vary quite a bit and this house, this structure as proposed, is very, very large. it is approximately 5,000 square feet of living space where month ago in the immediate vicinity is more than 3,000 square feet. the three-foot setback at the front is small by some measure. my setback is the second smallest at 6 1/2 feet. you actually have the proposed third story above the garage, the residential design alleghenies actually recommend that -- guidelines recommend
that be 15 feet from the front and articulates at the front. that is not the case and the subject property is taller than my property. it sits down slope. then with respect to the rear s setback requirement, mr. ionin showed you the shaded area but it is already built into the rear set pwbg. it is existing. so, if the proposal is accepted, 60% of the rear setback requirement will be eliminated. so, taking away all the open space right next to the presidio and scenic street in a neighborhood where there is open space and all the neighbors have a lot of open space and they comply with the setback requirements and it is inconsistent with the master plan. there is a window with the direct site line into my bedr m bedroom. there is a closed in feeling that was not there before on my property.
there is an issue with the plans. the approved plans have a -- the rear wall of the property is two feet shorter than the proposed plans and that is something that is not addressed in the plans. that is something that hasn't been subject to the 311 notification as well. i will also note in the department's analysis of neighborhood consistency they have indicated the bay windows and dormers are consistent with the neighborhood. however, there are no bay windows or dormers on el camino del mar on that block. in the checklist they checked know that indicates whether the dormers are consistent.
there have been four or five remodels in the neighborhood since i moved in [bell] gentleman president olague: project sponsor?entleman president olague: project sponsontleman president olague: project sponsotleman president olague: project sponsor?leman president olague: project sponsoeman president olague: project sponsoman president olague: project sponsoan president olague: project sponsor?n president olague: project sponso president olague: project sponsor?president olague: proje sponsor? >> if i can get the overhead. 16 years is a long time. we are all recognizing the fact that the sinkhole was pretty traumatic and a pretty amazing event to happen to this neighborhood and the people lost their home and to my clients who have been basically living there since then. a huge amount of history and facts. we have done our best to summarize where we think it start and where we are today. we don't have a huge amount of time given the process here. we believe that the d.b.i.
process and abatement process is essentially over. the abatement order should have been recorded. we are here with what the city family starting with d.b.i. ordered us to do, bring a permit and work with the staff and i want to thank the staff. they have done an excellent job. it took us two years to get through the d.b.i. process. i'm here as a resource to answer questions and i want this to be focused on the denying that we are presenting and i will turn it over to toby morris, the architect, who will walk you through the rest of it. thank you. >> good afternoon. toby morris. the scope of work of this project consists of three parts.
at the back, a reduction along the eastern side, more reduction reductions and at the front the demolition of existing two-story over garage structure and reconstruction in a smaller format. again on the back, we are reduce being the two-story envelope and pulling it back to a foot and a half off of the side property line where there is no side yard requirement and they are at grade encroachments that will be removed as part of the settlement with the eastern neighbor. on the east side we are tearing down the two-story structure and rebuilding it from the property line with a one-foot extension deck so the property is fully compliant with the four-foot side yard setback. there is also this minor rear yard -- sorry -- rear yard variance they are requesting.
the bulk of our attention and frankly only portion that could be viewed from the d.r. requester's home is this two-story addition over the garage. so, our proposal is to replace that with a smaller, more respectful addition, also two stories, over the garage. it is consistent with the best practices of the residential guidelines and code compliant as mr. ionin explained. we had six months of work on this for rodriguevision looked massing schemes, roof type, material choices, to drive what we feel is a good neighbor addition setting back the front three feet or three foot three, in keeping with the structure,
detailing the scale. i think the two stories over the garage is very minor. from a neighborhood fit it seems very comfortable. again, four months of work with the d.r. applicant. we met with him in my office and at the planning department and on the site in a voluntary pre-application meeting in which all neighbors had a chance it see what the project was about and ask questions. i really don't see any validity in those claims. what are their issues? building scale. i think we talked about that already. it seems to me to be a very comfortable proposal. light and air and privacy, again our addition is more than 30 feet away from the d.r. request er. he is two stories over the garage and 38 feet and we are two stories and 37 feet.
the concern about his bedroom window is not founded. 32 feet away a full story above and separated by an evergreen tree screen it remain. so those are virtually em-- impossible. president olague: are there speakers in support of the project sponsor? no. d.r. requesters, you have two minutes. >> i will go back to the big policy issue. the abatement appeals commission doesn't substitute for the planning commission. the he will srer, the owner -- the developer, the ownership was told he had to abate the conditions. instead of removing the conditions he wants to have them legalized.
and basically what mr. junious said is you are the last step, you are to rubber stamp the amendments and that will make them go away with their abatement. there is a section 311 process and planning code. we have a public participation process. we all have had extensive conversations about this the past couple of years. if the department allows someone to grossly abuse the planning process and the building process and come in with a slap on the wri wrist, effectively a slap on the wrist by basically getting what they want, or most of what they want, you are telling people to be outlaws. this is an outlaw situation. negotiations between staff and the developer are all, you know, very nice for them. but where is the public involved? and it is fairly outrageous -- i looked to find out where is the
variance report in what you h e have? it is like, how do you understand, how are people supposed to give testimony on the variance when it is not presented in the staff report? are you going to leave the record open on this? that is a valid question. because what was before the public on the variance in terms of an explanation was mr. ionin showing you a couple of things that are not in the brief. there is some soul searching that needs to be done on this. if you let staff run rampant over this, not give any notice to the d.r. requester for two months until you find out you have a hearing when it is posted. president olague: thank you. project sponsor. >> with all due respect, i think that she is blurring the lines here.
the process that we just finished took three years. that was 13 years after the sinkhole happened. there is a lot of history behind that 13 years and we are not going to stand up here and tell you nothing wrong happened because there were some mistakes made and there were some problems with those permits. the n.l.v. process that finished with the abatement orders was the punishment. we have been punished. 10 n.l.v.'s were published most of them by mr. cimoni who we settled with. there was a public process to thoroughly vet the d.b.i. issues that are being brought before you today. i'm happy to answer questions about that. i have boxes of correspondence and permits and changes and facts in my office and i'm happy to speak to you about them if you have questions. but what i wants you to be clear about is after that d.b.i. process is finished, that process set into motion the 311
process she is complaining about. the notice went out and complied with the code. there have been meetings with the neighbors. we have done everything we can to include the neighbors in this process. as a matter of fact, the neighbors couldn't be here but we have they strong support letters. i don't know if they got in your packet. i want to make sure. three neighbors directly across the street that stair at this home would like to see it granted because it will improve what it looks like.e at this home would like to see it granted because it will improve what it looks like.re at this home would like to see it granted because it will improve what it looks like. what is there is not very attracti attractive. they are willing to spends thousands of dollars to make it look how it should. we think it is a great design and appreciate the staff's work. happy to answer any questions. thank you. president olague: public hearing is closed. commissioner antonini.
commissioner antonini: this is an interesting case because it involves a special circumstance. not often we have a sinkhole and i remember that very well on that rainy day and seeing one house completely swallowed up by the sinkhole. and this house was almost lost but it was in the pictures and our packet shows the amount of damage that was involved and obviously something had to be done. we all realize the act process was not followed as far as the permitting but there were things that had to be done and staff, i think, has properly and planning department intervened and asked for corrective action on those repairs and additions because a lot of the house was destroyed as part of the sinkhole problem and not in conformity and it has been a long process. to answer some of the